He116 vs. Fw200

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wiking85, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    For the naval recon role it seems that there was a better choice than the Fw200, the He116; it had comparable range using much weaker engines; with the same engines the He116 could have performed even better. Was there a reason it wasn't tried?
    Heinkel He 116 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    He-70 carried 4 passengers. Fw-200 carried 26 passengers.

    Fw-200 had far more interior space for ASV radar, long range radio equipment, meteorological equipment, special camera equipment, IR (i.e. Spanner) equipment etc. Condor had room to grow whereas He-70 / He-116 was a developmental dead end.

    Not that any of this matters since Admiral Raeder had no desire to fund a naval air service such as existed during WWI.
     
  3. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Those are pretty solid reasons.
     
  4. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #4 GregP, Mar 26, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
    I don't think the Fw 200 had much room to grow. All by itself the gear collapsed on occasion. Adding extra weight was not going to be a good idea, ever. The He.116 has a lot to recommend it and it probably could have been slightly upsized to accommodate the small growth needed.

    But it would have had to have a champion ... and Ernst Heinkel was not really in favor, so I'm not sure who would have championed the idea ... that someone would have listened to. There a re a LOT of things that make sense today that simply would never have happened back then. The political situation was not as today's prople see it, and the decision makers weere relatively few. They mostly didn't listen to counsel from anyone, but rather looked over the situation and made a choice ... and that's the way it was.
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Why not develop Do-435 beginning 1937? The key technologies were available (i.e. Dornier patent 728044 for rear prop shaft. DB603 engine prototype running.) All the project needs is funding. Bear in mind that means funding DB603 engine as well as airframe. However DB603 engine would then be available for other aircraft such as Fw-190. So you might get FW-190 program to share engine development cost.

    mm435-1.jpg

    Do-435 was proposed recon variant of Do-335. Similar to historical Do-335 except cockpit was wider and it had a bubble canopy. This allowed observer / navigator to sit side by side with pilot in manner similar to 1960s USN A-6.

    Data for historical Do-335.
    1,230 liters of internal fuel.
    Weapons bay tank could carry an additional 473 liters. Total of 1,700 internal liters possible.
    300 liter drop tank under each wing if desired.

    High speed plus huge fuel capacity makes this the SR-71 of WWII era. Nothing except a jet can intercept it and has plenty of range.

    High cruise speed allows recon mission to be completed relatively quickly. An important consideration as WWII era recon aircraft cannot transmit real time photographs. Film must be rushed back to base for development and then interpreted.
     
  6. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    #6 kool kitty89, Mar 26, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
    Wasn't the Fw 200 itself hindered by political issues and less than high priority? (hence the discussion in the 'technological gambles' thread regarding focus on correcting the Fw 200's faults rather than relying on minimal structural reinforcement and greater focus on 'proper' far more advanced -and less realistic- designs like the Ju 290)

    Stretching the He 116 to accommodate the needed equipment doesn't seem more realistic than properly militarizing the Fw 200 (and trying to turn the He 116 into a patrol bomber -rather than pure recon- seems about as extreme as turning the Fw 200 into a full heavy bomber).
    Might not the He-111 be a better candidate for conversion to such a recon role? (aside from the advantage of using smaller, less critical engines on the 116)


    That said, Wiki's article's claims about more powerful engines 'being abandoned' seems strange. There's both the HM512 and As 410 in the 400-500 HP class, and the As 410 was entering production during the He 116's development and testing. So why not adopt either of those?


    And if nothing else, the He 116 could have proven a useful 4-engine training/proving aircraft, far less costly/risky than jumping straight into full heavy bomber, transport, or patrol aircraft. (shame it was so small though, something closer to the DH.91 would have been useful for transport)
     
  7. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    You might be right, but "properly militarizing" a civil aircraft means a redesign. If they could redesign one, they could redesign the other as well.
     
  8. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, but the size of the He 116 still seems to place it more as a supplemental recon aircraft filling in cases where the lower cost advantages paid off over any limits in capability. The use of small, air cooled inlines on top of the exceptional range seems to be the major advantages. (including for training purposes)

    The Fw-200, unlike the He 116 also makes a reasonably useful long-range transport, so freeing them up for that purpose might be more useful as well. (better transport than the He 111 too, passenger/troop capacity wise better than two He 111s -hypothetical fuselage redesigns aside) Still a less efficient transport than the Ju 252, C-46, or C-47, granted. (ie it only looks good due to the general lack of really good, logistically sensible transports in large scale LW service)
     
  9. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Lets look at the He 116 again.

    General characteristics
    Crew: 3 to 4
    Length: 13.70 m (44 ft 11 in)
    Wingspan: 22.0 m (72 ft 2 in)
    Height: 3.3 m (10 ft 10 in)
    Wing area: 62.9 m² (677 ft²)
    Empty weight: 4,050 kg (8,930 lb)
    Loaded weight: 7,130 kg (15,720 lb)
    Powerplant: 4× Hirth HM 508C air-cooled, inverted V8 engines, 182 kW (244 hp) each
    Performance
    Maximum speed: 233 mph, 375 km/h (202 kn)
    Range: 2,170 mi, 3,500 km (1,900 nmi)
    Service ceiling: 7,600 m (24,900 ft)
    Wing loading: 113 kg/m² (23 lb/ft²)
    Power/mass: 100 W/kg (0.06 hp/lb)

    Now lets look at a Lockheed 14 (later turned into the Hudson)
    Crew: two
    Capacity: 12-14 passengers
    Length: 44 ft 4 in (13.51 m)
    Wingspan: 65 ft 6 in (19.96 m)
    Height: 11 ft 5 in (3.48 m)
    Wing area: 551.0 sq ft (51.19 m2)
    Empty weight: 10,750 lb (4,876 kg)
    Gross weight: 15,650 lb (7,099 kg)
    Max takeoff weight: 17,500 lb (7,938 kg)
    Fuel capacity: 644 US gallons (2,440 l; 536 imp gal)
    Powerplant: 2 × Wright SGR-1820-F62 Cyclone 9-cyl. air-cooled radial piston engines, 900 hp (670 kW) each
    Performance

    Maximum speed: 250 mph (402 km/h; 217 kn) at 5,800 ft (1,800 m)
    Cruise speed: 215 mph (187 kn; 346 km/h)
    Range: 851 mi; 740 nmi (1,370 km)
    Ferry range: 2,125 mi; 1,847 nmi (3,420 km)
    Service ceiling: 24,500 ft (7,468 m)
    Rate of climb: 1,520 ft/min (7.7 m/s)
    Wing loading: 28.4 lb/sq ft (138.7 kg/m2)
    Power/mass: 0.115 hp/lb (0.256 kW/kg)

    The Lockheed is 7 inches (175mm) shorter in the fuselage, has about 6ft less wingspan (2 meters) and weighs 1820lbs more empty. Why don't we just add another pair of Cyclones to the Electra airliner and turn it into a 4 engine patrol plane bomber?

    The He 116 was a nice try at a long range mail plane but the trouble with trying to convert civilian aircraft to military (combat) use is that the civilian aircraft are usually built to a lower strength requirement, in the case of some of these record setting/path finding aircraft a much lower strength standard. NO 3 G turns etc.

    A Bramo 323 weighs about 320-330kg more than a Hirth 508 and that is for a bare engine, (dry weight, no starter, generator, exhaust system, cowling or propeller.) out of your roughly 3000kg "payload" for the He 116 the bigger powerplants could suck up 1500-2000kg. doesn't leave much weight for crew and fuel.

    Radical engine changes usually don't work very well. It took a few different models for the R-1830 powered DB-7 to evolve into a satisfactory R-2600 powered aircraft. First R-2600 powered versions were very short ranged.
     
  10. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    Again, the He 111 would be more in the ballpark of the Model 14 or Hudson.

    The He 116 seems more likely to remain just a recon/mail plane and possible 4-engine trainer. (again, unfortunate it wasn't more like the DH.91 ... potentially a useful transport)

    Who said anything about using the Bramo 323?

    I think I'm the only one that even brought up alternate engines, and that was aimed more at the originally planned/intended engines in the 500 ps class. (something like the HM512 or As 410)

    And if you DID switch to Bramo (or possible lighter BMW 132) engines, you'd probably drop to a twin engine design anyway. (4x As 410s or HM512s have similar weight and power to 2x 132s or 323s, the radials have better altitude and cruise power performance though ... and better power/weight depending on the specific models compared)

    But that's assuming the wing can easily mount 2 heavier engines in place of the 4 small ones. (and it defeats the purpose of using smaller, less powerful, less critical engines)
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    See Post number #1.
    "For the naval recon role it seems that there was a better choice than the Fw200, the He116; it had comparable range using much weaker engines; with the same engines the He116 could have performed even better. Was there a reason it wasn't tried?"

    Major engine changes usually aren't going to work very well. There are exceptions but then we don't always know just what modifications were done under the "skin" to allow for them. Different category aircraft were built to different standards. In the US the standard safety factor was 1.5 over what the aircraft might see in service. For fighters this was 12 Gs ultimate strength for an 8 G service load. For light and medium bombers it was 6 Gs ultimate. 4 engine bombers were in the 4 G range (around 4.5?) ( and this is at normal gross weight, not overload.) transports could be under 4 Gs. Perhaps 3.8? Record setting planes didn't even have to meet that standard, they could be certified or given an airworthiness certificate for their limited use (only a few built, no commercial passengers, etc) with structural standards less than a commercial transport. Some companies over built their aircraft. Some didn't and record breaking aircraft skated as close to the edge as they could get away with. Trying to turn record breakers (or special purpose aircraft like long range mail planes) into combat aircraft calls for a LOT of modifications.
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    A post war plane some what equivalent to the He 116 in length, wingspan, empty weight and using 4 engines of 250hp each.

    63499_800.jpg

    Does anybody really believe you could hang 4 piston engines of 500 plus HP on one of these?

    Granted it is short ranged but then it is carrying 12 more people on board plus luggage. Swap them for fuel and then overload the plane with several hundred more gallons and you might see a pretty long rang out of it :)
     
  13. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #13 GregP, Mar 27, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
    Don't know abour four 500 HP engines, but there is the Carstedt Jet Liner 600. Conversions of the Dove, carried out by Carstedt Inc, of Long Beach, California, USA. The aircraft were fitted with two 605 ehp (451 kW) Garrett AiResearch TPE331 turboprop engines. The fuselage was lengthened by 87 inches to accommodate 18 passengers.

    0747261.jpg

    Surely this has enough payload to have pilots and radar and a radar operator. Don't know the range, but you could throw on 3400 - 3800 pounds of extra fuel over and above standard in lieu of passengers, possibly more. If you could do that with this, why not the He.116?
     
  14. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    Yes ... I overlooked that bit in the opening post, very, very true. I'd be more hesitant of suggesting the 400 PS class Argus/Hirth engines too if not for Heinkel's own apparent intentions to fit such originally.

    Heinkel seemed to attempt this rather frequently, so either had this in mind when designing the record breakers, was willing to make heavy modifications, or was being unrealistic about potential serviceability. (more likely a combination of all of those)

    I've had fantasies of developing the DH.88 into a small/light long-range twin engine fighter, but rarely bring it up given how impractical it likely would have been, structurally speaking. (it LOOKS like a fighter, and might even have good aerodynamics as a fighter/interceptor, but the amount of structural changes likely needed to make it strong enough for that would probably be close to engineering an entire new aircraft)

    Military aircraft inspired by record breakers are usually more realistic prospects than direct conversions/adaptations.




    But on the topic of maritime recon, something smaller than the Fw 200 and more akin to the Hudson might have been quite useful. If you're looking at Heinkel aircraft, I still say the He 111 might have been an interesting option there.
     
  15. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe with the Jumo 205 diesels?
     
  16. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    This simply is not supported by contemporary records. Im currently reading the DKM war diary for the "This day in Europe" thread. The German admiralty staff, answerable directly to Raeder, and recording most of his critical decisions and thoughts, show very clearly the desire of the German Navy to establish a meaningful air arm. They constantly harp about the lack of long range recon and minelaying capability, and the refusal of Goring to agree to any move to release resources to the Navy for this purpose. In 39-40, Goring steadfastly refused to provide recon for the Navy during their various operations into the North Sea and elsewhere, completely refused to commit high performance aircraft to the minelaying operations (at least during the first half of 1940, up to the end of the Norwegian campaign. On at least three occasions, during joint meetings with Hitler, Goring and Raeder, Hitler expressed the belief that such resources should be made available to the Navy, but stopped short of ordering Goring to do so, I suspect because of Gorings political status, and Raeders lack of status in that regard. It wasnt until later in 1940 that the LW was given a direct order by Hitler support to the Navy, and even then they (the Navy) were only given grudging and pitifully small resources for the purpose. These resources remained firmly under air force control, which continued to cause difficulties in an operational sense.

    If the Navy had a hard time getting the air force to agree to allocate air force resources for co-operation with the fleet, but retained under LW control, it pales into nothing compared to the voracious opposition the air staff expressed to the establishment of a dedicated naval air wing under the control of the Navy and equipped with high performance machines.

    So, unfortunately this statement is complete bollocks.
     
  17. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe, or 207s, but with 211s it might manage well enough depending on the particular fuel and equipment loadout. There's a lot of wing space on the He 111 and it was already carrying significantly more fuel than the early model Hudson (750 imp gallons compared to 537 imp gal). Range and endurance vary drastically depending on loadout on either aircraft.

    For pure recon work, the bombload of the He 111 can be ignored in favor of max fuel and equipment. For bombing or possible mine laying, or torpedo bombing, things get more complicated. (granted, the Hudson didn't even carry torpedoes, though the Ventura could)

    You might save some weight switching to Bramo radials too, but the lower performance, higher fuel consumption and added drag hardly seems worth it. (but then, not employing Jumo 211s on the FW 200 seems unfortunate as well)



    A side note on Jumo diesels and recon aircraft: it seems odd and unfortunate that only the Ju 86 mounted those given the relatively dated airframe was mated with the Jumo 207. (Ju 88 seems like it would have made more sense)
     
  18. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Dove use Gypsy queen series 70 engines which weigh about 660lbs each. (they are geared and supercharged unlike the Gipsy Queen I listed in Wiki). They were also good for 330-340hp instead of the 250hp of the Gipsy Queen 50s used in the Heron.

    Early models of the Garrett AiResearch TPE331 weigh about 307-340lbs? A reason the engine nacelles were so long?

    There is a reason that so many turbo-prop conversions were done. The turbo-props offered much more power at much lower weight than the piston engines they replaced.

    Want to try yanking the 340hp-660lb Gipsy Queens and replacing them with 600-700hp 938-950lb P&W R-1340s/ Wright R-1300s?

    Could you improve the He 116 using 1940/41 technology? Yep, but nowhere near the improvement that 1960s technology would give.

    Or lets look at it another way, While it had four engines the He 116 had a lower empty weight and a lower max gross weight than a Grumman Avenger, trying to get 15-17,000lb (gross) aircraft to do the same job as (range and warload) as a 45-50,000lb airplane (Fw 200) is going to take some mighty clever engineering.
     
  19. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    Argus and Hirth engines were managing better power to weight ratios than De Havilland designs, or at least comparing the V-12s. The older straight 4, 6, and V8 designs were closer to DH performance levels. Then again, Hirth and (especially) Argus engines were produced in much larger volumes and had more emphasis on further development earlier on. (the Gypsy series, let alone the Twelve/King, didn't have that)
     
  20. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    #20 Shortround6, Mar 28, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
    The point is that the turbo conversions doubled the power (or more, 2.4 times) while cutting the engine weight by half.

    Using Argus V-12s can certainly roughly double the power but at the cost of increasing dry engine weight by about 50%.

    The other part is trying to take a small airplane and make it do something it was never intended to do and thereby replace a much bigger airplane.

    The Lockheed 10 was used for a number of record breaking flight despite being a 10 passenger airliner with a "normal" range 600-800 miles (depending on fuel and load). One was the first 'commercial" aircraft to fly both ways across the Atlantic ( carrying photos/film and ping pong balls.) another was used by Amelia Earhart.

    The Lockheed 14 had a "normal" range of 800-900 miles yet Howard Hughes set an around the world record of 14,672 mi (23,612 km) in 3 days, 19 hours, 17 minutes which is an average of 160mph but includes time on the ground. There was one 3600 mile leg and two legs of over 2400 miles.

    Now they were certainly using these planes for things the designer may not have intended them to do.

    But while they did use the Lockheed 14 as a maritime patrol plane they certainly didn't try to replace the B-17 with it.
     
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